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question of practicing cr with low bmi


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hello cr community :)

my name is gavriel from israel.

i am new to cr, actually i am on my process to start officially such a diet. corrently i am gathering the information about cr.

my previous diet was a healthy vegan diet incorporating mainly on whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.

corrently i am naturally not eating too much, listening to my body, i automatically reduced the amounts of food i eat.


my height is 191 cm and i weight 69 kg. my bmi as such is 18.9. my body structure naturally is thin and athletic, low body fat (dont know how much).


my intention from cr is not weight loss but having an optimal diet of "eat to live", and to harness of cr for body and mind.


how low is ok for the bmi to decrease?

or maybe its a question of body fat precent going low? if so, what is the range\limit is good to be at?


thank you for you kind help \_()_/     :)

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Hello gavriel,

Welcome to the CR Society Forums!

From your brief description it sounds like you've already got a pretty sound diet, and from your BMI it sounds like you may be already practicing a pretty significant degree of CR. Have you run your diet through CRON-O-Meter to see both how many calories you are eating, and at least as importantly, to make sure your nutrition is adequate? If your diet is as you describe, it should be, but there are a few micronutrients that aren't always easy to get on a vegan diet, like B12, selenium and iodine (unless you intentionally salt your food).

As for BMI, we've got a whole thread discussing the optimal BMI. As I discussed in my latest post in that thread, there appears to be a tradeoff. Many of us hope (and to some degree expect) that a lower BMI (and fewer calories) is likely to have benefits for humans, similar (although probably not as dramatic) to that seen in rodent CR studies. But at the same time being really thin is likely to make one more fragile. For example, CR seems to make one less likely to get sick, but also may make it more difficult to generate a strong immune response and fight off an infection or illness, and therefore recover, should an infection or illness get a foothold.

Practically speaking, there are a few CR folks who seem to thrive at BMIs less than 17, and some of them might disagree (if so speak up!) but from my personal observations targetting a BMI of 17.5-18.5 is a pretty good tradeoff between garnering (potential) CR benefits on the one hand vs robustness and quality-of-life on the other. But your mileage may vary.

Regarding body fat - it's really hard to get an accurate estimate without a DEXA scan or other high tech equipment, so not many CR practitioners put very much stock in % body fat as a target.

Hope this helps!


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thank you very much dean for the kindness and the helpfull information.


after reading your message i checked my diet through the program you adviced. i didnt measured acurately all my food, but from the aproximations i did i see that my corrent diet is great :) and actually covers almost all nutrients i need. i see also the imbalances, and its just a game of aqaulibrium because i have a big variety of food i use.

i also seen that the calories i intake are far lower then those i burn, 700calorie. i am sure because my estimations are err here and there.

i will start record my food intake to see the real picture.

i had a big pain trying to lower my protein intake to 0.8 per kg, it seems that all the food that contains proteins contain essential elements for my diet...

usually i am taking addetive of b12. and i am using iodized salt. for selenium it seems as one brazil but is enough...


i wanted to try going for 2 meals a day, morning and lunch. and i am perplexed how to condense all that food into two dishes...

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Sounds like you've got a very good plan. It's not uncommon for estimates of calorie intake to not match calorie expenditure. Both estimates are fraught with errors. 


Regarding protein, several of us get more than 0.8g per kg, sometimes quite a bit more. There is pretty good evidence that it's animal protein that raises IGF-1, which is the biggest problem with too much protein. Plant proteins are much less of a concern, even in quantities > 0.8g / kg. Dr. Greger has several good videos (scroll down a bit) discussing this difference.


One brazil nut a week is probably sufficient, although you might consider supplementing for selenium instead - brazil nuts are all over the map when it comes to selenium.


i wanted to try going for 2 meals a day, morning and lunch. and i am perplexed how to condense all that food into two dishes...


Two meals are better than three, and one is better still (IMO). It takes some getting used to, but after a while it because quite easy and natural to eat two (or one) large meal per day, especially if one doesn't eat as quickly as the average person.


Keep us posted!



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What are some of your current biomarkers of health? Blood pressure, cholesterol, hba1c, fasting glucose, testosterone, igf-1, thyroid, body temperature, wbc, etc. I suspect they would be great - it sounds like you are already well into CR without even knowing it. Subjectively, what kind of health do you feel you have?

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hi drewab :)

actually i didnt started yet officially with cr, just read a book about it. so i still dont have any blood samples.

i may be following cr naturally to some extent because i am vegan in the last 6 years (part been vegetarian). i am trying to eat very healthy whole diet, all plant based. some 5 years agoi read about hunza tribe and their calorie scarce diet and got inspired by it. since then i believed that being skinny and nutrient is better. and actually i was just loosing weight slowly slowly. other then the diet i am serious into zen meditation in the last 6 years. i feel that the effect of the meditation on me has some similarities with cr. my resting pulse could be at 48. blood pressure 58 on 110. my body temperature should be cold, i think that no matter where i am usually i am the person that is the coldest around even among all my university class of 400 people by which 4/5 are woman :) i am sleeping less. more energetic. very focused. calm. learning faster. and naturally also with that path also my diet became healthier and healthier and still refining it.

subjectively i feel super :) no complains whatsoever.

saying that i would say that taking care of my happiness, well being, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, is my utmost important (most of the time (: )  so i do feel great! but it didnt happen alone. i would say that my phisical well being is not the part that is the main satisfying one, its just works well, as it should, without deficiency, with energy. the well functioning body is my car. i am more about the destination where this car is drivring and the reason why it is dricing there. meeting the people on the way. enjoying the changing sites meanwhile. i am not concentrated on the joy of driving the car per ce. hope you got my allegory :)

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